You make a lemonade.
So I completely ripped a very important pad off an ESP8266 module (GPIO2) because of multiple reasons:
1. I used wrong gauge wire.
2. I should have removed the insulation first, but didn't.
3. I didn't hold the wire while attempting to remove the insulation from the wire.
It was an ESP-03 board which i was attempting to fix after using ESP-14 adapter board without modifications (which shorted some pins), which I got for an inflated price of $5.34 because at that time I couldn't use eBay.
So...I had to resort to the "farewell" plan, which was potting the entire thing in resin and making an ornament out of it.
Mixing up resin (which comes in two BIG plastic bottles) with EXACT ratio of 2:1 was hard when using my scale, so I devised an idea; using a set of cheap drinking straws!
I marked the position on "Epoxy" straw first, then measured the length from the end to the line, divided it by 2 and marked the length on "Catalyst" straw.
Then it was just a matter of carefully sucking the resin and catalyst out of the bottle with the straw, making sure not to overflow the liquid into my mouth. I repeated it until I had just enough resin to fill up two tiny 3mL "dwarf jars" I got just for this job.
I used the aforementioned dead ESP8266 board (which I sanded down slightly to fit inside the jar) after coloring the chip black with a permanent marker (resin dissolves the ink, so it creates "smoke" effect), and tacked on a dead "laser diode" (which actually was a light sensor that was mislabeled) on some of the pins left on the module.
Another jar was fitted with a EEPROM chip I accidentally killed while attempting to program it with variable power supply (which was supposed to put out exactly 5V but in fact it put out 12V).
Hmmm...the resin I poured was a tad bit too bubbly for my taste. But I don't have vacuum chamber and I don't think putting it in a oven will do any good (because it will outgas and taint my pizza!). How do I solve this....hmmm...I do have a vacuum sealer but I don't have a jar that was supposed to come with it...
Then it hit me. The brilliant thought! I don't even need the jar, I can just vacuum seal the entire thing inside a clear plastic case, and it will work just fine!
So I found a case for Huawei smart watch (which wasn't mine but reclaimed from dumpster) which had a clamshell packaging with black and clear plastic, and no seals around the edge. Just perfect! Righty-o!
I put those two little jars inside the case, put it inside the sealing bag, and pulled vacuum on it.
The resin became very bubbly again and the resin on the bottom slowly cleared up.
After leaving the sealer run for 40 minutes, I decided to take it out and put it aside until it solidified.
After that, I drilled a hole on the cork plug those jars came with and fitted a tiny LED in it. I wired it with a piece of wire from the dead earphones and hot glued it into the plug.
And there we go, we have a geeky ornament made out of dead module and chip!
Next time I do this, I want to make some changes:
• The ink was a little bit oversaturated, which caused the chip numbers to turn completely invisible after potting. I will just put some dots on the outside rim of the chip instead.
• The light sensor I fit in the first bottle sticked up from the bottom, which made the top slightly uglier. I will use the sensor as-is without accompanying it with something else in the next one.
• I will hack the "vacuum container plug" which acts as a pressure release button to fit standard connectors instead (I just need to close the valve when not using it).
• I will try jeweler's resin next time since it has no yellow tint in it at all and is less cloudy. The resin I got was from an industrial wholeseller and he told me this was used to coat the floor (hence the reason for big bottles, I told my dad to order the EXACT one I told him to, which was a Super Clear Modelling Resin that had zero yellowness in it, but he just went for the cheapest one...)
Alright, thanks for reading.